Fantasy Bingo Results | March Wrap Up ’19

Copy of Book Tag

This is it – today is the last day of r/Fantasy’s year Fantasy Bingo event. Tomorrow, a new bingo card will be released, and we will start again. I made multiple posts about this bingo challenge last April, including an announcement post and a handful of posts about possible reads for the topics. This is the culmination of all that.

Here is my bingo card for the 2018/2019 event

Fantasy Bingo 2018.png

As you can see, I didn’t 100% complete the card, but I did get four bingos!

I’m hoping this coming year, I can do all of the squares and plan my reading more accordingly. A lot of the year this past year was spent reading Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series and Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderling books. And since you can only use an author one time, it kinda.. kept most of my reading from being counted towards this card. But! Both of those series are getting close to an end, so the rest of my reading this coming year should count more easily. ๐Ÿ˜€

Tomorrow, probably late in the day, I will be putting up an extra post this week, talking about the new card. If you plan on participating, let me know!


Wrap Up

Books

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts

Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts by Anthony BourdainI read this book towards the beginning of the month and found it to be rather entertaining. I wrote a full blabber on it, if you’re interested.

3/5 stars

 

 

The Invasion of the Tearling and The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika JohansenThe Fate of the Tearling by Erika JohansenI’ve finally finished this series, man. I really hope the author continues with it. There’s so much possibility for more! This series will be getting a full review from me, as soon as I can process it enough to gather my thoughts cohesively. Until then, just know that I really liked both of these books.

4.5/5 and 4.75/5 stars respectively

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred by Octavia E. ButlerI picked this book up after it popped up as an answer on Jeopardy. It had been on the peripherals of my radar before that, but I had never actually heard the synopsis for it before I saw it on tv. It intrigued me enough that I went out and got it within the week. I really ended up liking this one. I’m not sure if it’ll get a full review from me or not, though. I feel like it’s such a well-known book at this point that I won’t really be adding anything unique to the conversation.

4/5 stars

Goblin Slayer vol 1 by Kumo Kagyu

Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1 by Kumo KagyuI picked this manga up after watching the anime, and it turned out just as good. This one also got a full blabber from me. I think I was rather on a roll this month with them. ๐Ÿ˜›

4/5 stars

 

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four Panel Comics by Hirumo Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu ArakawaThis one, I loved. This is the four panels collection of all the comics at the back of the FMA manga and dvd collections. I really adored this. I hadn’t seen about half of it before, so it was really fun. I did a blabber on this one, too!

5/5 stars

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon JamesThis book was such a disappointment to me. It was an anticipated release, and I bought it early, hoping to love it. Unfortunately though, I really, really didn’t. I have a full spoiler-free blabber on this one, too.

1.5/5 stars

 

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P Beaulieu

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. BeaulieuI’ve finally finished this book. It’s been on my backburner books for probably six or seven months. It was originally a buddy read with my friend Amanda but that kinda fell apart for both of us. I still wanted to finish it though, and it turned out it was a good thing I set it aside for a bit. The initial read kinda had me bored. I wasn’t in the right mindset or something. When I picked it back up though, I ended up liking it a lot more.

3.25/5 stars

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Other Things

  • I went to an escape room for the first time this month. Man, am I bad at it. I want to try again with like four people instead of nine though. I’m thinking we were just all shouting over each other.

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books โ€“ 25/50
  • Finish the 10 in 2019 list โ€“ 3/10
  • Keep book purchases around 4-5 books per month
    • J โ€“ 5 | F โ€“ 6 | M – 7 | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Go on a 2 to 3 month buying ban โ€“ In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 250 books โ€“ currently at 283
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019 – Complete!
  • Post monthly book hauls
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Keep track of statistics
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D

And that’s it! I’m so excited for tomorrow: The OWLs Readathon begins and the new bingo card is posted. I. Am. So. Pumped. For. April. It’s gonna be so much fun! If you’re planning on participating, or if you’re curious about participating and want to know more, let me know!

Happy reading!

End of 2018 Book Tag

Book Tag

Hello, a tag today! I was tagged by Katy @BookBinderWay, and considering January is almost over, I figured I should get on this one, man.


BEST BOOK YOU READ IN 2018?

I made a whole post about it. I can’t pick just one, man!

BOOK YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT AND THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LOVE MORE BUT DIDNโ€™T?

House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski

This book left me so torn. Parts of it I love, but other parts I really didn’t. So while I was hoping to give this a five stars, but it ended up with a 2.75.

MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD OR BAD WAY) BOOK YOU READ?

Halo: The Fall of Reach

Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric S Nylund.

Surprising because 1) I had never played Halo so I expected to be lost and 2) I had never read military fantasy and had expected to be bored. But neither happened, and I ended up rather enjoying this.

BOOK YOU PUSHED PEOPLE TO READ THE MOST?

Wotakoi! HEY YOU SHOULD READ IT.

BEST SERIES YOU READ IN 2018?

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)

The Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb. Be still my beating heart.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR YOU DISCOVERED IN 2018?

Fujita! The author of Wotakoi!

BEST BOOK FROM A GENRE YOU DONโ€™T TYPICALLY READ?

As mentioned above, Halo!

FAVORITE COVER OF A BOOK YOU READ IN 2018?

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)

โค

MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER OF 2018?

The Fool, from The Tawny Man trilogy. Can you see a pattern developing here?

BOOK THAT SHOCKED YOU THE MOST?

The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. This book really threw me for a loop, man. Ugh, I loved it.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY/ALMOST CRY?

A River in Darkness:  One Man's Escape from North Korea

A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape From North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa. How could you not cry during this, really.

SEQUEL YOUโ€™RE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2019?

The Burning White (Lightbringer #5)

I’m gonna say The Burning White, even though I technically haven’t finished book four yet. I’M GETTING THERE, OKAY.

BOOK YOUโ€™RE MOST ANTICIPATING IN 2019?

I wrote a post on this! Go look-it!

Who do you tag?

Nobody, because look at the time!


And that’s it! Happy reading!

Top 5 disappointing books of 2018

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner

https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gifHappy Hump Day!

Today’s topic is most disappointing books of last year. I was originally going to post this shortly after the new year, but when I saw it was to be a t5w topic, I decided to wait. My kingdom for consistent posting material, yeesh. I also chose six, not five. Pbtbt. They’re in no particular order.

If you’d like to participate in Top 5 Wednesday, you can do so here!


The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan

The Gray HouseThis book had such a neat sounding premise. This book was also my one and only DNF of 2018. I didn’t rate it, because I didn’t get far enough into it that I thought a rating to be fair. I think… I think I got maybe 150 pages into it. I had picked this book up as part of r/Fantasy’s book of the month for October, and I don’t know what it was about it, but I really didn’t get into it at all. I couldn’t tell if it was because I was reading it as an ebook or whether it was the meandering plot. I tend to dislike meandering plots – I want to feel that there’s a point to what I’m reading. Though, occasionally, one will surprise me, which is why I decided to give this book a chance. I even tried out the audiobook for a bit when I felt myself getting bored. And that was really it. This book bored me, and considering it was over 700 pages, I decided to cop out early and save myself the mental drain. Maybe someday I’ll retry this one. Maybe. A physical copy of it might help, who knows.

No rating

Mushishi volume 2 by Yuki Urushibara

Mushishi, Vol. 2I think my problem with this one was that I wasn’t in the right mindset. I picked it up, hoping to get through it so I could hit my TBR goal for the year, so it was one of the last reads of 2018. But, Mushishi isn’t really a series you can ‘just get through’. It’s one of those thinkers, and it was not what my brain wanted, apparently. I found myself skimming a lot of the time and honestly I couldn’t tell you a single thing that happened in it. This one, I will give another try, when I feel like I’m in the mood for it. I liked volume one well enough, so I feel like I could like this as well if I gave it a proper chance.

2.75/5 stars

 

Just Around the Corner by Touko Kawai

Just Around the CornerSpoilers for this manga ahead

Looking back at my rating, I should have rated this book a one star. Why I gave it two is beyond me. It is what it is though. This book made me uncomfortable. It follows a romance between two men, which is well and dandy. But then the one turns up to school the next day to find out that the guy he’s been seeing is his teacher. Ok, teacher/student tropes can be done ok sometimes.

But the plot twist, guys. The plot twist was just. Ugh.

The plot twist was, guy one as lying about his age. Teacher thought he was dating (and sleeping with) a 19 year old. Was he? No. Guy one, turns out he was 17. Age of consent laws vary throughout the world, but I live in the US, so my mindset is very much a harsh ‘HE’S NOT EIGHTEEN RUN AWAY’. So like, that plot twist dropped and I nearly dropped the book. I felt so gray. I picked it back up in hopes that Teacher freaks the eff out and drops guy one like a stone. And he does. So I kept reading, happy that the damned teacher has some sense. But the rest of the book follows guys one as he’s pining over this teacher and how cruel Teacher was for dumping him and how it wasn’t fair and ugh. Mind you, Teacher is totally in the right for going ‘WTF’ and staying away from this kid.

But alas, guess who gets back together by the end of the book. It gave me the creeps. It was slimy. Yuck. I don’t recommend this.

2/5 stars (but should be 1)

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)My complaints about this one match up to basically everyone else’s. It felt like a money-grab. The whole book was about shopping and could have been condensed into a chapter or two. The only relevant part plot-wise happened in three sentences. Yawn.

I believe it was on my anticipated books list last year too, which is why it was such a big let down for me.

3/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Gravitation by Maki Murakami

Gravitation, Volume 01I read this series back in high school (and yes, the whole series is on this list), and I remembered really liking it. This goes to show you that tastes change, and some things just don’t age well at all. The romance in this, while a gay romance, was like.. homophobic. I was reading a yaoi with homophobia in it. My gosh. Jokes that would have been ‘funny’ 13 years ago in this series really don’t stand the test of time, and that’s unfortunate. I should have just let this series lie, and kept it as a fond memory of my teenage years. But I had to go and stick my foot in it and rack up all these grimy memories to go along with it. Sigh.

Overall 2.25/5 stars

 

Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland, #1)This is my one and only one star book of the year! Technically it was a 1.5, because I was able to finish it. I only give 1 stars to books that I DNF out of hate (not out of boredom like above). This book wins the ‘most unhealthy relationship dynamic’ award, beating out the one in Gravitation by a long, long long shot.

At this point, I’ve repressed most of this book in my memory, except that the main character says ‘holy moly’ way too effing much and that the love interest is the most punchable character I’ve ever come across.

It’s such a shame though. I picked this up hoping to love it. I wanted to love it. I kept trying to defend it against myself as I read, but eventually it got to the point where I just couldn’t. It was… disappointing. :/

1.5/5 stars

.


And that’s it! Did you read any of the above? Did you like them? Tell me what about them that you liked that I totally missed. Happy reading!

Top Books of 2018

top books 2017

Hello, time for the 500th favorites post you’ve seen, and my favorite post of the year! Now, I’m not going to have a set number – no ‘top 10’ or whatever. I tend to only rate something five stars if I intend on adding it to my all-time ‘favorite books’ list, with a few exceptions (like.. individual issues in a manga series where the overall series isn’t a favorite, or powerful memoirs that I don’t consider a fave). So some years this post is really long, other years it’s super short. This year’s list is a decent length, I think.

In 2018, I read 88 things, and out of those, 23 of them were five stars.

First, I’m going to eliminate the rereads:

So that knocks out… six books, leaving 17. Next, I’m going to eliminate what I mentioned above: Individual issues of a manga series that I don’t consider a ‘favorite’ series, and powerful memoirs that while they were amazing, I don’t consider them a ‘favorite’ book. For the first, for a manga series to be considered a favorite, the majority of the volumes need to be a five, and that weird, undefinable ‘I love this entire series’ feeling has to be there. Individual volumes of manga can definitely be five stars, but its overall series could be lower. For the second, powerful memoirs are hard for me: I rarely give them less than five stars because how can I read about someone’s life and struggles and go ‘meh, needs character development’. Like really. So while I really did enjoy the book, and probably regard it highly (as I do with this book), I usually won’t consider it a ‘favorite’ book. Usually.

Down to 13. A lot of the remaining books are books that are sequels in a series that I read through during the year. So, those will be combined below.

OKAY now here are my favorite books of the year! None of these are in any particular order.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning SilverGenre: Fantasy

This book was rather split between readers – half of them really liked it, half of them really didn’t. This book is set in a Russia-esque world, and follows a few different characters, one of them named Miryam, the daughter of a money lender. She takes over her father’s business and soon cultivates the reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. This attracts the attention of the creature known as the Staryk, who interprets it literally, and Miryam finds herself in a bit over her head.

This book is slow moving and very atmospheric. It suggests a romance but it doesn’t really show one. I think that’s why many people – specifically ones who liked Uprooted – didn’t care for this. I really liked it though – I adore Naomi Novik’s writing, and at this point she could publish her grocery list and I’d read it. I really like the unknown aspect of the Staryk, how little we find out about him. The characters were interesting, the interweaving of different aspectics of folklore and creatures was really neat, and the way that all the character’s perspectives interwove was cool, too. I wrote a full blabber on it, if you’d like to know my full thoughts.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard For Otaku volumes 1-3 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol 1 (Otakoi: Otaku Can't Fall in Love?!)Genre: Slice of Life/Romance/Comedy

This series came out of nowhere for me. I randomly saw a brief review of the first three episodes of the anime, which made me pick it up and binge it, and then I hunted out this manga to fulfill the void that was created in my life by finishing the anime. I’ve since consumed the first three volumes, which make up everything that’s currently available for purchase.

This series follows four working mid-twenties adults as they navigate their relationships. They’re all a bit nerdy in their own ways, and it’s nice to see that come out in people who are office workers – character depth, people. The dynamics between the characters show actual, y’know, communication, and it was a breath of fresh air. The characters actually speak to each other when there’s a misunderstanding between them. Like adults. It was so nice.

This series is fluff, mind you. It’s not some epic tail of love and pain, it’s not a dramatic soap opera… it’s just a light, fluffy, funny series about people who aren’t teens, interacting with each other. And I loved it. A lot of what the characters are interested in – video games, manga, cosplay – is really delved into, and it taught me some things about the areas, even though I’m already a fan of most of them. And this series made me laugh out loud multiple times. Augh I enjoyed it so much!

Prince’s Gambit and King’s Rising by C. S. Pacat

Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince, #2)Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance

These two books were some of my first reads of 2018, and they’ve really stuck with me. The first book in the trilogy, Captive Prince, was a four star read for me, which is why it isn’t here, but these two books being five stars each definitely put the series overall into my favorite books.

This is another series that is a bit derisive. The relationship and cultural dynamics in this book can definitely be called unhealthy. But, the writing and the plot progression just sucked me in. I read these books and then my heart felt a void that there was no more.

This series follows two princes of warring kingdoms. One prince’s half brother usurps him, strips him of his titles, fakes his death, and presents him to the other prince of the rival country as a pleasure slave. The other prince, not having actually met the first one, doesn’t realize who he is being given. The series follows them as the war continues and the political dynamics become more and more complex.

If I’m being honest, when I went into this, I didn’t really expect much of a plot. But I was pleasantly surprised with a well thought out and well executed one. Because of that, it definitely earned a spot on my favorites list.

Victory of Eagles and Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik

Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)Genre: Historical fantasy

Ugh, this series, man. I absolutely adore it. I’ve loved it since I picked up the first four volumes of it in high school. If you notice, the first four of the books in the series were in my eliminated rereads section: All of them were five stars as well.

When I was in high school, only the first four books were out. I read and loved them, and then never actually picked up the rest as they came out.

This year, I made a point to do so. I reread the first four, and then kept going. The series recently concluded at nine books. As of writing this, I’m reading book eight. The two books mentioned here are books five and seven: book six was four stars for me, as it dragged a bit, but overall this series is still one of my favorites and will always be.

This series, the Temeraire series, is a historical fiction about dragon warfare during the Napoleonic Era. It’s so well done and so well researched. The character dynamics and how the dragon battle tactics are interwoven into history and actual historical events and battles during the Napoleonic Wars is fantastic. The main character, William Laurance, in the first book is a navy captain: he defeats a French ship at sea and finds Temeraire’s egg within. The egg hatches, and with nobody else around to tame the dragon, he steps in to do so, effectively throwing his navy career away to join the aerial corp: the military unit specializing in dragon battles. Temeraire the dragon is the sweetest thing, as are all of the other dragons. Each is unique, the breeds are well thought out and the intricacy of dragon breeding and training and whatnot is really fascinating.

As stated, I’m on book eight. I’m going to be so sad after book nine is finished. I won’t know what to do.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount CharGenre: Fantasy/Horror

This book was a bit out of my usual comfort zone. It was a fantasy thing set in modern day, which is usually not my jam. It just sounded so intriguing though. This book was a buddy read with Katy @Bookbinderway, and both of us ended up really enjoying it, though I think I liked it more than she did, overall.

This book follows a young woman who… used to be human, more or less, as she and her group of siblings try to discover what happened to their missing Father, the man who raised them. I don’t want to really tell you more than that, because going into it nearly blind I think would be best.

I will say though that this is definitely one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. It’s unsettling, it’s bizarre, and at times it’s uncomfortable. But it’s also riveting and exciting and a lot of fun. This is definitely one of the most unique books I’ve ever encountered. I feel like it should have its own genre, that ‘fantasy/horror’ doesn’t really do it justice.

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)Genre: Fantasy

I haven’t spoken about this series too much recently, but it’s definitely mentioned muchly on this blog overall.

This series, when I started it in 2017, quickly became one of my favorites and with this third installment, it remains solidly in the list.

This series, if you haven’t heard me blabber endlessly about it already, follows a slew of characters, navigating politics in war in a world where light is magic.

The users of the magic system, drafters, are able to change colored light into physical matter, and shape it to their will. Each color has different properties, is used for different things, and has different effects on the user. Every time the user drafts light, it brings them slightly closer to death.

All of the characters in this are entertaining in their own way, whether or not I actually like them. The main character for instance, is a bit of a dick, but he’s also a lot of fun to read about. As stated, this is the third book in the series, and I’m currently reading the fourth. The fifth comes out this fall, so I wanna finish it before then. I. Am. SO. EXCITED!

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1)Genre: Fantasy

Wow is this book a hidden gem. Originally self-published, it became an overnight sensation, and has since been picked up by a publisher. The book follows Thomas Senlin, who arrives at the base of the seemingly endless Tower of Babel with his wife, on honeymoon. He quickly loses her in the crowd and then must undertake the task of climbing the tower, navigating each of its levels, and surviving pursuit to find his wife.

I wrote a full blabber on this one too. More of a gush, really. But man, the writing in this is wonderful. It’s so allegoric, and I loved it. The second book is out in this series, and the third is coming out this year. I cannot wait to continue this one, ugh.

Golden Fool and Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)Genre: Fantasy

What would my favorites list be without a Robin Hobb novel (or two). Robin Hobb just keeps amazing me with her worldbuilding, her characterization and her storytelling. Each book just adds to the previous ones, things mentioned in the first or second book that seemed like a one-off suddenly become very relevant eight books later and it blows my mind. I’ve been buddyreading these with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and we’ve both become absolutely smitten.

The two I’m highlighting here are the second and third books in Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy, which is my favorite series in the overarching world she has established. In the overarching series, they are books eight and nine. But man, these books wrecked me. Both of them. (And the first one did too, but it didn’t quite make five stars. The whole series is amazing). They took my emotions, tied them in a pretzel, burned them, freezed them, melted them, untied them and formed them into a heart… and then ripped them to shreds. I can’t even talk too much without spoiling like.. two other series.

This series follows characters from the first trilogy some years later, and I didn’t realize how much I missed those characters until I was reading about them again. Hobb’s books at this point give me nostalgia. Cracking one open is like going home, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish them.

That’s what rereading is for, I guess.


And that’s it! Those are my favorite books of the year! So many books were added to my favorites list this year, it’s crazy! I loved it! If you’ve read any of these, let me know!

2018: Reading Year in Review

2017 Reading Review

Happy New Year!

This year, I set quite a few challenges for myself, both reading and personal. I’ll go over the reading first, and then the personal at the end so you can back away if you’re not interested. Next year, I plan to do a similar thing with reading goals, but not so much with personal ones. I’ll get to that in a different post, though. But here! We’ll start with stats:

Reading Stats:

Overview

ReadingReview1Readingreview2

readingreview3

Reading by Genre:

  • Nonfiction: 2
  • Graphic novel/manga: 55 (wow)
  • Fantasy: 23
  • Sci-fi: 3
  • Horror/thriller/contemporary: 5

Books DNF’d: 1

Reading Resolutions

(As declared in my resolutions post last year)

Book Related:

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books – Success!
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books – Failed (3/10)
  • Keep book buying low โ€“ no more than 6-8 books every three monthsFailed (More like 11ish)
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books. It currently sits at 301. – Success!
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2018 – Success!
  • Participate in the Beat the Backlist ChallengeFailed (ending up quitting this one)

Blog Related:

  • Post seasonal (not monthly) book hauls – Success!
  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule (with the occasional extra post if Iโ€™ve got neat things goinโ€™ on) – Success!
  • Keep my To Do list of pending tags under five items at any one time – Success!
  • Update my T5W, Blabber and Tag lists monthly – Success!
  • Write blabbers for at least 1/3 of the books I read – Failed (Haven’t written one since… I don’t even know, man)

So, looks like I did much better in keeping my blog goals than my book goals. The reading goal I found most important was the one where I wanted to decrease my physical TBR to 270. That one, I succeeded in, so woot. For the ‘reading books on the 10 in 2018’ list one, I actually wrote a post on that, going into a bit of blabbering on why I feel like this goal failed.

Personal goals

(As also detailed on the same resolutions post)

So, instead of listing all of the personal goals with a big, fat ‘fail’ next to them, I’m going to say: I failed literally all of them except one. The one I succeeded in was ‘take care of health issues as they arrive’. I’ve been very pro-active in my healthcare this year, getting checkups and whatnot, and tackling health issues as soon as I notice them. So yay, hopefully will live to old age so I can get nice and old and moldy.

But lolololol, totally failed everything else. I’ve noticed a pattern here, and it’ll be mentioned further in my 2019 goals post. Hehe I’m so bad at this.


And that is it! Tomorrow’s post will either be a Top 5 Wednesday post or my 2019 resolutions post (or both, if the topic lines up. The topic hasn’t been posted as of writing this, so right now I’m standing at the edge of the void, waaaaaiting).

I hope you had a good reading year! I can’t wait to see what the new reading goal color is on goodreads, heheh.

Happy reading!

December Wrap Up | ’18

Wrap Up

Happy New Year’s Eve! I actually read a lot of books this month!

Books

The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan

The Gray House by Mariam PetrosyanI read this as part of r/Fantasy’s October readalong. Well, obviously fell behind in October, struggled with it in November, and finally DNF’d in December. I was maybe 20% through, so no rating from me. It just wasn’t clicking with me, unfortunately.

DNF

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh MalermanThis book, I adored. I read this with Katy @Bookbinderway, and we both ended up really enjoying it. I watched the Netflix adaption of it recently and while they definitely took some creative liberties as far as plot events, I thought it was a rather solid movie. I liked it, too.

4.5/5 stars

Trigun Maximum vol 4 by Yashuhiro Nightow

Trigun Maximum Volume 4 by Yasuhiro NightowThis is such a nostalgic series for me – I watched Trigun back when I was 17 or so on adult swim, and reading the series for the first time is triggering so many memories. I rather enjoyed this volume.

3.5/5 stars

 

Monster vol 4 by Naoki Urasawa

Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 4 by Naoki UrasawaThe more I read this series, the more I like it. Unfortunately, the single volumes appear to be out of print, so I’ll be picking them up second hand as I come across them. But! I really enjoyed this volume.

4/5 stars

 

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul EvansEvery year, I try to read a Christmas book in preparation for Christmas. This was the last one that I owned that remained unread, and aside from the weird in-your-face gender roles, I rather liked it. It made me cry, which was totally unexpected. I don’t really see me rereading it, so whether or not I keep it remains to be seen. But! It was enjoyable in the moment.

3/5 stars

Chew vol 2 by John Layman

Chew, Vol. 2 by John LaymanMy gosh, where has this series been all my life. I was luke warm to volume one, but this one made me adore this series. I’ve picked up volumes 3 and 4 since finishing this one, and plan on reading them soon. Augh it’s so great.

4/5 stars

 

Descender vol 2 by Jeff Lemire

Descender, Vol. 2 by Jeff LemireI was so happy to get back into this series. I read volume 1 last year and reread it earlier this year. Just now though, I got to volume 2. I want the rest now. MOAR.

4/5 stars

 

Monstress vols 1-2 by Marjorie M. Liu

Monstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie M. LiuVolume 1 was a reread and volume 2 was new stuff. I don’t know what it was about volume 2, but it seemed to really drag for me. It took me three days to finish. Three days. For a graphic novel. I just really wasn’t feeling it. I may or may not continue this one, which is a bummer, since I really liked volume 1.

4/5 and 3/5 stars, respectively

Halo: First Strike by Eric S Nyland

Halo by Eric S. NylundThis book, I borrowed from a coworker. This is the third in the Halo series, and I rather enjoyed the first two as well as this one. This series is easy enough to pick up, and considering I’ve never played the Halo games, the worldbuilding in the book was definitely enough to keep me informed and entertained. At no point did I feel like I was missing information, so credit to the authors for that one. And apparently I like military sci-fi, who knew.

3/5 stars

Mushishi vol 2 by Yuki Urushibara

Mushishi, Vol. 2 by Yuki UrushibaraThis one I picked up and unfortunately wasn’t really feeling. I think it was more of a ‘it’s me, not you’ case though – just wasn’t in the right mindset. I picked it up hoping to buzz through it to get my TBR down before the end of the year, but Mushishi isn’t just a book you can buzz through. It takes more introspection, haha. So as of right now, I didn’t really enjoy it, so I removed the rest from my TBR. But, I may pick it up again one day. Maybe. I’d definitely have to reread volume 2 though, as I can’t tell you anything more about it other than ‘didn’t groove with me’.

2/5 stars

Other Things

  • I completed by book buying ban! I went on it as of August 8th, and completed it on December 25th!
  • Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff is currently at my house, visiting me for the week! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve known her since I was 17, and this is the first time we’ve met face to face!

Reading Goals

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books: 88/40
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books: 3/10
  • Keep book buying low (6-8 books/season)
    • January-March purchases: 9
    • April-June purchases: 12
    • July-September purchases: I donโ€™t wanna talk about it
    • October-December purchases: 13
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books: 270
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018.png

One new one on the grid this month: Bird Box. All the others read were either manga/graphic novels or authors that are already up there.


And that’s it! Tomorrow’s post will be a year in review kinda thing. After that, all the fun end of year posts. So. Pumped. Happy reading!

Bookshelf Tour 2018

10 in 2019

Hello! Today is an updated bookshelf tour! The last time I did one was at the end of 2017. Since then, I’ve added new ones, rearranged a bit, and purged some old ones.

I have quite a few off the shelves right now because they’re either lent out or lying around my place, so any I notice are missing will be noted. None of the books mentioned in the book haul that I posted yesterday are on the shelves yet, so none of them will be shown either. ๐Ÿ˜›

Also, I almost almost did a video. I shot the footage and everything, and Katy offered to edit it for me. But… I got camera shy at the last minute. I’m not even in it, just my voice. But still. Pictures, haha.


Nonfiction and Foreign Language

Missing: The Good Women of China

Manga and graphic novels

Missing: Mushishi vols 2-4, Fruits Basket vols 1-4, Wotakoi vol 3, Descender vol 2, Monstress vols 1-2, Chew vols 1-2, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Missing: His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Glass, Truthwitch, Assassin’s Apprentice, The Name of the Wind, The Knife of Never Letting Go

Horror, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Classics, Magical Realism, and Literary Fiction

Missing: House of Leaves, Water for Elephants, Isle of Blood


And that’s it! I think with the new books going on, I’m going to need another case. I have two small cases right now among the collection – I might see if I can replace one or both of them with a larger case.

According to Goodreads (which… I keep mostly up to date), not including the newest books from the haul because I haven’t added them in yet, I own 707 books, 270 of which are unread. I’ll go into more detail come January, but I hope to reduce that to 250 or so by the end of 2019. Wish me luck. Ideally I’ll have unread books until I die – it’s no fun otherwise.

Happy reading!

 

Top 5 books I didn’t get to in 2018

Blogmas 2018

I love this topic but ugh, it’s such a hit to the ego. All those motivational ‘I’m gonna read this and this and this and this!’ posts at the beginning of the year are always pulled into an uncomfortable light, because shocker, a lot of the books on the list I didn’t actually get to.

Every year, I make a 10 in 20xx post, listing ten books that, at the time, I very much wanna read. And while I still wanna read them come the end of the year, I’ve never actually completed the list. I think I need to examine what exactly is making me add a book to the list and what is keeping me from actually picking it up. Hm hm hm.

All of these books originally were mentioned on my 10 in 2018 list, and would you look at that, they remain unread.

If you’d like to participate in Top 5 Wednesday, you can do so here.


Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Dragon Wing (The Death Gate Cycle, #1)

I think the reason I didn’t start this one is because it intimidates me. It’s the first book in a seven book series, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that level of commitment.

The Edge of the World by Kevin J Anderson

The Edge of the World (Terra Incognita, #1)

I got this for Christmas years ago. Never picked it up. Want to. One day. Sigh.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas

When my husband and I first started dating back in 2012, this was the first Christmas gift he ever got me. Have I read it, no. I’ve seen the movie and it’s one of my favorites. Does my husband know I still haven’t read this…? No, heheheee. I don’t talk about it.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

This book showed up on last year’s post of books I hoped Santa would bring. Santa brought it. And then it promptly went on my shelf and that’s where it stayed. Ahahah. I do wanna read it, though.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Caliban's War (The Expanse, #2)

I read Leviathan Wakes aaaages ago, and adored it. I adored it so much, that I went out to the bookstore the same day and paid list price for this baby. I got it home, read ten pages, and then got distracted. My bookmark is still in it, ahahahaha.


And that’s it! Will I get to these this year? Maybe! Will I add them onto this year’s upcoming 10 in 2019 post? …Also maybe! Woo! Happy reading!

Unfinished Series 2018

Blogmas 2018

Hello! Today’s post is an update of last year’s post, where I go over all the series that I’ve started and haven’t finished. I’m going to divide it up into series that were on the list last year and new series that I’ve started since then. Any series that were from last year that I’ve made progress in will be indicated in blue. Any that I’ve since finished will be marked in green. Any series I’ve decided to quit have been removed.

Ongoing series from last year

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1)The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Hyperion Cantosย by Dan Simmons โ€“ 1/4 read (1 owned)

Contours of the Heart series by Tammara Webber โ€“ ย 2/4 read (2 owned)

The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey โ€“ 1/6 read (2 owned)

The Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen โ€“ 1/3 read (3 owned)

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas โ€“ 5/9 read (5 owned)

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Snow Likes Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch โ€“ 2/3 read (1 owned)

The Gold Seerย trilogy by Rae Carson โ€“ 1/3 read (1 owned)

An Ember in the Ashes quartet by Sabaa Tahir โ€“ 1/3 read (0 owned)

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare โ€“ 1/6 read (6 owned)

Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown โ€“ 1/4 read (0 owned)

The Hitchhikerโ€™s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams โ€“ 3/5 read (0 owned)

Bas-Lag trilogy by China Mieville โ€“ 1/3 read (2 owned)

The Monstrumologist quartet by Rick Yancey โ€“ 1/4 read (3 owned)

The Remnant Chronicles โ€“ 3/3 read (3 owned)

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1)The Gunslinger by Stephen KingThe Black Prism by Brent Weeks

 

Temeraire series by Naomi Novik โ€“ 7/9 read (7 owned)

Inkworld trilogy by Cornelia Funke โ€“ 2/3 read (3 owned)

Shanghai Girls duology by Lisa See โ€“ 1/2 read (2 owned)

The Gungslinger by Steven King โ€“ 1/7 read (0 owned)

The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks โ€“ 3/4 read (4 owned)

Attack on Titan, Volume 1Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to LovecraftIkigami: The Ultimate Limit, Volume 1 (Ikigami, #1)Trigun Maximum Volume 1: Hero Returns (Trigun Maximum, #1)InuYasha: Turning Back Time (InuYasha, #1)

Attack on Titan series by Hajime Isayama โ€“ 16/27 read (16 owned)

Locke & Key by Joe Hill โ€“ 2/6 read (2 owned)

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit by Motoro Mase โ€“ 3/10 read (6 owned)

Trigun Maximum by Yasuhiro Nightow โ€“ 4/14 read (4 owned)

Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi โ€“ 18/56 read (23 owned)

Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1: The World's Greatest Team (Dragon Ball Z, #1)Rave Master, Vol. 1Demon Diary, Volume 01Priest, Volume 1. Prelude for the DeceasedY: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned

Dragonball Z by Akira Toriyama โ€“ 4/26 read (4 owned)

Rave Master by Hiro Mashima โ€“ ย 3/35 read (4 owned)

Demon Diary by Lee Chi-Hyong โ€“ 7/7 read (7 owned)

Priest by Min-Woo Hyung โ€“ 2/16 read (6 owned)

Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan โ€“ 6/10 read (0 owned)

Descender, Vol. 1 by Jeff LemireOrange by Ichigo TakanoChew, Vol. 1 by John Layman

Descender by Jeff Lemire โ€“ 1/5 read (1 owned)

Orange by Ichigo Takano โ€“ 3/3 read (3 owned)

Chew by John Layman โ€“ 1/12 read (2 owned)

So, I made progress in some, I finished two, the rest are still in purgatory.

New series

These will be series that I’ve started and plan to continue, because looking through my list, there are a bunch I started and have either read all the books that are currently out, or have no interest in finishing. The latter will be a different post.

My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 by Kohei HorikoshiHalo by Eric S. NylundFruits Basket Another, Vol. 1 by Natsuki TakayaLand of the Lustrous, Vol. 1 by Haruko Ichikawa

My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi – 2/21 read (0 owned)

Halo by multiple authors – 2/18 read (0 owned)

Fruits Basket Another by Natsuki Takaya – 1/2 read (1 owned)

Land of the Lustrous by Haruko Ichikawa – 2/9 read (0 owned)

Senlin Ascends by Josiah BancroftSaga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. VaughanDragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

The Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft – 1/2 read (1 owned)

Saga by Brian K Vaughan – 8/9 read (8 owned) – Not a new series, but the first time I’ve not been caught up when this post came around.

The Rain Wild Chronicles by Robin Hobb – 2/4 read (3 owned)

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonNaoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1 by Naoki Urasawa

The Masquerade by Seth Dickinson – 1/2 read (2 owned)

Monster by Naoki Urasawa – 4/18 read (4 owned)

And that’s it! I added nine new series that I’m not currently caught up on, five of them being manga or graphic novels. Slightly overwhelming.

Oop.

 

November Wrap Up | ’18

Blogmas 2018

Hello, happy December! Most of my month was taken up with Nanowrimo, so I didn’t read all too much. I am however in the middle of a lot of books, which will be talked about more in my December Currently Reading post tomorrow.


Books

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb

Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)It says a lot about this month that I was surprised that this book was on November’s list. I swear I finished it in October. This is what my brain is doing, baw. I buddy-read this book with Zezee, and we both really enjoyed it.

This book is the second in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles quartet, and while I liked the first book, I really really liked this one. The characters take on a wider range of personality traits, the plot develops very nicely, and there’s more complexity developed in everyone’s motivations. Some of the characters I disliked at the end of last book I now have gray feelings towards, namely Sedric. I don’t like him but I feel for him at the same time, it’s very strange. Robin Hobb’s best strength I think is her characterization. She is a master at making you question a character’s morals but at the same time kinda sympathize with their plight.

I’ll be picking up the third book soon here, and I’m hoping it’s as good if not better than this one.

4.25/5 stars

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)This was a reread for me, and really, it just made me fall in love with it all the more. There is so much I missed the first time through, that I was able to pick up thanks to knowing the ending ahead of time. Ugh. I’m in the middle of the second book now and I feel like this series is going fall into my top five favorites if not my all-time favorite, period. I’ve never had a ‘favorite’ before, but this series might make that claim.

5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku volume 3 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku 3This was the other book that was exempt from my buying ban (the first one being the second Baru book) and I picked it up two days after it came out on the 27th and read it immediately. Just like its predecessors, it was easily a five star read. I absolutely love this series. I wrote a spoiler-free review on the first two volumes, should you be interested. I’m so excited for the next one. I just need an announcement date! D:

5/5 stars

 

 

Other Things

  • As stated above, I participated in Nanowrimo and I won! I’m so happy. I literally did nothing else worth mentioning this month, haaaaaaaa

Reading Goals

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books: 77/40
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books: 3/10
  • Keep book buying low (6-8 books/season)
    • January-March purchases: 9
    • April-June purchases: 12
    • July-September purchases: I donโ€™t wanna talk about it
    • October-December purchases: 3
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books: 283
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018

I can’t put anything on the grid this month – already used a graphic novel, a reread, and Robin Hobb. Only one reread, graphic novel, and one book per author! Augh!


And that’s it! I’m hoping to get back into my reading more this December, with the writing taking the backburner. Happy reading!